Who is Real Madrid and Arsenal target Kepa Arrizabalaga?

Real Madrid and Arsenal target Kepa Arrizabalaga could get his international debut when Spain face Costa Rica in Malaga.

The 23-year-old shot-stopper has been in impressive for between the sticks for Athletic Bilbao and is set to get the nod ahead of Manchester United No 1 David de Gea on Saturday.

Here, Sportsmail looks at the goalkeeper most of Europe is watching as he prepares for his international debut.

The decision is not made yet but Spain coach Julen Lopetegui wants to save his best team for the game against Russia next week so there will be some fringe players in the starting line-up against Costa Rica.

Pepe Reina is the other keeper in the squad but he has been carrying a knock and there is also nothing new to learn about him. So Lopetegui, a former goalkeeper himself, is ready to pitch in 23-year-old Kepa.

Real Madrid are in pole position. Kepa will be a free agent in 50 days so they can pay him a huge signing on fee and they could even pay a token transfer payment to keep on side with Athletic Bilbao who are upset at the way the young keeper has run down his contract.

Arsenal probably will not be able to compete.

Plenty and one in particular could emerge to rival Real Madrid. If Atletico Madrid lose Jan Oblack in the summer then Kepa is their first choice to replace him.

It’s early in his career to jump to too many conclusions. He is just 23 and has barely played 35 games in the top flight. More than stand-out achievements so far it is the high opinion so many coaches seem to have of him that is so noteworthy.

He was born in the fishing town of Ondarroa in the Bay of Biscay and he joined Athletic when he was 10.

He played at every age group for the club, went out on loan to second division sides Ponferradina and Valladolid, and was then named as third keeper for the first team by Marcelo Bielsa.

It was current Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde who gradually made him first choice after originally alternating him with Athletic stalwart Gorka Iraizoz.

He needs to improve in the air but as he fills out and gains in confidence that is probably inevitable.

He has tried to dribble out from the back before for Spain Under-21s against Croatia and been caught out.

And he made bad mistakes against Valencia early in the season, coming off of his line at the wrong time, but recovered well in the following games.

The potential is huge although the scramble for his signing is clearly being influenced by the fact that he comes free of charge.

Athletic want to boost his money in stages and if they are going to pay him more they want to give him a €75m buy-out clause.

He is not interested in accepting that. He plays every game for Athletic – cup and Liga – but even if he goes somewhere he will have a harder time being first choice he will see it as a step forward. He has one and a half feet out of the door.
How do Athletic fans see this panning out?

Some are upset that he is poised to leave for nothing but others share the opinion of Athletic president Jose Urrutia when he said: ‘Kepa is very good but what we have achieved in recent years has been done without him.’

They have survived the loss of plenty of big name players over the years. It will still be hard to see him reaching his peak elsewhere.

On Saturday at least he makes his senior international debut as an Athletic Bilbao player.